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An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 1, 2011
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"I thought I knew what An Invisible Thread was going to be. I thought it would be a simple and hopeful story about a woman who saved a boy. I was wrong. It's a complex and unswervingly honest story about a woman and a boy who saved each other. By its raw honesty and lack of excess sentimentality, it is even more inspirational. This is a book capable of restoring our faith in each other and in the very idea that maybe everything is going to be okay after all."
—Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of Pay It Forward and Jumpstart the World
"An Invisible Thread—a remarkable story, told so beautifully and honestly—shows us what's possible when we are not afraid to connect with another human being and tap into our compassion. It is a story about the power each of us has to elevate someone else's life and how our own life is enriched in the process. This special book reminds us that damaging cycles can be broken and not to neglect the humanity of the strangers we brush up against every day."
—Chris Gardner, bestselling author of The Pursuit of Happyness and Start Where You Are
"A straightforward tale of kindness and paying it forward in 1980s New York . . . For readers seeking an uplifting reminder that small gestures matter."
"According to an old Chinese proverb, there's an invisible thread that connects two people who are destined to meet and influence each other's lives. . . . As Schroff relates Maurice's story, she tells of her own father's alcoholism and abuse, and readers see how desperately these two need each other in this feel-good story about the far-reaching benefits of kindness."
"An Invisible Thread is like The Blind Side, but instead of football, it’s food. These are two people who were brought together by one simple meal, and it literally changed the course of both of their lives. This is a must-read . . . you can read it in a day because it’s impossible to put down. If you read it and find it as moving as I did, pay it forward: buy a copy and give it to a friend.”
—Rachael Ray, host of The Rachael Ray Show
"When advertising executive Laura Schroff was approached by 11-year-old panhandler Maurice, at first, she ignored him: 'His words were part of the clatter, like a car horn or someone yelling for a cab. They were, you could say, just noise—the kind of nuisance New Yorkers learn to tune out.' A moment later, when she came to, she returned and invited her new acquaintance to lunch at McDonald's, the beginning of a human connection that would change both their lives. An Invisible Thread picks up the progress of two very different people with strangely parallel stories of 'complicated pasts and fragile dreams.' Uplifting, without an ounce of pretension."
“This book is a game-changer . . . each chapter touches your heart. An Invisible Thread is a gift to us all. America needs this book now more than ever.”
—“Coach” Ron Tunick, national radio show host, “The Business of Life”
“An incredible story . . . I would encourage everyone to pick up this book.”
—Clayton Morris, host, Fox & Friends
About the Author
Laura Schroff is a former advertising executive who has worked with several major media companies, including Time Inc. and Conde Nast. Born and raised on Long Island, Laura was part of the advertising team that made USA Today a successful national newspaper. Before helping launch three of the most successful start-ups in Time Inc. history—InStyle, Teen People, and People StyleWatch—she was also the New York Division Manager at People magazine. Laura has also been the New York Ad Manager at Ms. magazine and Associate Publisher at Brides. Laura loves spending time at her condo on Long Island and visiting with her family in New York and Florida. She lives in New York City with her feisty poodle Coco.
Alex Tresniowski is a writer living and working in New York City. He has been a senior writer for People Magazine since 1998, writing numerous cover stories and focusing on human interest, crime, and sports. He is also the author of six books, including 2005’s The Vendetta, a true crime story that was purchased by Universal Pictures and used as a basis for the 2009 Johnny Depp movie Public Enemies.
Top customer reviews
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When advertising executive Schroff answered a child’s request for spare change by inviting him for lunch, she did not expect the encounter to grow into a friendship that would endure into his adulthood. The author recounts how she and Maurice, a promising boy from a drug-addicted family, learned to trust each other. Schroff acknowledges risks—including the possibility of her actions being misconstrued and the tension of crossing socio-economic divides—but does not dwell on the complexities of homelessness or the philosophical problems of altruism. She does not question whether public recognition is beneficial, or whether it is sufficient for the recipient to realize the extent of what has been done. With the assistance of People human-interest writer Tresniowski (Tiger Virtues, 2005, etc.), Schroff adheres to a personal narrative that traces her troubled relationship with her father, her meetings with Maurice and his background, all while avoiding direct parallels, noting that their childhoods differed in severity even if they shared similar emotional voids. With feel-good dramatizations, the story seldom transcends the message that reaching out makes a difference. It is framed in simple terms, from attributing the first meeting to “two people with complicated pasts and fragile dreams” that were “somehow meant to be friends” to the conclusion that love is a driving force. Admirably, Schroff notes that she did not seek a role as a “substitute parent,” and she does not judge Maurice’s mother for her lifestyle. That both main figures experience a few setbacks yet eventually survive is never in question; the story fittingly concludes with an epilogue by Maurice.
For readers seeking an uplifting reminder that small gestures matter this is highly recommended.
Laura and Maurice but of the things that Laura recounts both in her own growing up and in Maurice's life. I highly recommend. My only complaint was something that most people might not notice, the misuse of the verbs lie and lay. An edit should catch these things! However, this little glitch did not hurt my enjoyment of the story one bit.